The College Experience
“Experimenting is normal. It’s just what college kids do.”
I don’t know about any of you, but I fell for that ploy hook-line-and-sinker! I dared not question that the “rules” of my faith did not have to follow me into college. And why would I? I was given that subtle but very understood go ahead to party, experiment and party some more. It was bliss.
Who would question that rite of passage?
I attended a football game last fall at a very well renowned college in Mississippi. Beautiful campus! I decided before my friend and I left that night to walk through where most of the tailgaters congregate. The pungent odors and layers of beer cans strewed all over the place was very upsetting to me. Here I am on this gorgeous campus and it looks like Mardi Gras blew through. (Anyone that has ever attended the Mardi gras parades can attest that after the parades are over, it’s disgusting to walk the streets!)What I found more disturbing than the upheaval of this beautiful campus were the students walking around in a drunken daze.
The “drunken” sway, the heavy eyes made it pretty clear they never made it to the game! Now, understand, there’s no judgment here. I, too, was once one of them. I probably thought I was really cool but age and two children proved otherwise!
I shared my observations with a coworker and in returned, he shared a very honest and personal take on his time in college. “I look back and think how much time I wasted back-sliding on my faith.” He recalls. “All those nights spent in a drunken stupor really just slowed me down!”
I think so many of us realize, after college, that we could have made better with our time. College is just a pivotal turning point for so many of us, yet we are told over and over that we have some type of “free pass” while in school to back off on our faith. Don’t believe me? Look back after your first year of college is over and tell me how many of your friends “drank the Kool-Aid.” Again, not everyone falls away, but many do. In reality, college should be the time we cling to our faith and seek guidance from our Father more than ever!
No one is saying that you have to be a stick in the mud. You can have fun and still be a Christian. Following Christ is not a death sentence! I can recall many “fun” experiences that college promised that turned into disasters. Unfortunately, what we choose to do with our time in college can have an effect on what happens afterwards.
So why is your faith so important during this time?
- Your future is being decided (and hopefully studied). Seek guidance from the One directing that future!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
- Most people will meet their future spouse while in school. 60% of people claiming to be Christians yet do not attend church, divorce. Those who attend church on a regular basis have a fairly lower divorce rate at 38%.
Bradley R.E. Wright, “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites …and Other Lies You’ve Been Told,” (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2010), p. 133.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” 2 Corinthians 6:14
- College campuses are an open mission field. Use that time to introduce your college friends to Christ!
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:18-19
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
- For sexually active college students, STDs and pregnancy rates are fairly high. 45% of abortions are obtained by college-age women.
Source: Jones RK, Darroch JE and Henshaw SK,
Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of
women obtaining abortions in 2000–2001,
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health,
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18
College, nor any other season in life, is the time to disregard your faith. Finish strong, fight the good fight and understand that you might be the only light on your campus to shine in the darkest of days. It’s an honor and privilege to be a follower of Christ. Don’t waste that!
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